ASUS F2A85-M Pro microATX FM2 Motherboard

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The F2A85-M Pro is laid out similarly to recent AMD microATX motherboards. Most of the connectors are at the edges of the board where they are easily accessed, though the 8-pin EPS12V connector is in the top left corner; if you have a large third party cooler and a case with a ceiling-mounted power supply, it could be a real pain to connect. There are also no fan headers on the right side of the board so you might require extensions for front-mounted fans with short cables.

The board provides excellent connectivity options. There are seven SATA 6 Gbps ports (the eight is routed to the eSATA connector at the back), two PCI-E 3.0 16x slots (8x/8x in CrossFireX) and four PWM fan headers. The back panel is littered with USB 3.0 connectors so there are an ample number of USB 2.0 headers as well.

As per usual with AMD boards, there isn't a ton of room around the CPU with the DIMM slots positioned very close to socket. There aren't any other obstructions though as the VRM heatsink is fairly short and located on the far side of a column of inductors and capacitors. One possible source of frustration may be the seventh SATA port that isn't placed on its side — a long video card and cooler could easily cover it up.

The heatsinks have varied fin sizes, an unnecessary flourish to make them resemble the cascading levels of an equalizer. The VRM heatsink is fairly petite, only 25 mm tall including the chips it sits atop.

Despite being the hub for most of the board's subsystems, the FCH chip has a fairly diminutive cooler as well.

The back panel is well-stocked with a nice selection of connectors. DisplayPort, HDMI, S/PDIF, USB 3.0 (the four blue ports) and eSATA are all accounted for.

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